One of horse racing’s most prestigious events premiered on American television on Tuesday morning and will continue throughout the week. Royal Ascot, the yearly horse races full of pomp and circumstance at Ascot Racecourse in England, is being broadcast on NBC Sports from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday through Saturday.
If you like the Kentucky Derby, then you’ll love Royal Ascot.
Royal Ascot is one of the premier horse racing events in the world and, just like the Kentucky Derby, it’s about a whole lot more than horses.
You want pageantry? Well, Queen Elizabeth has attended every year since she took the British throne. Per tradition, she arrived in a horse-drawn carriage along with other royals. Also in attendance were her husband, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duke and and Duchess of Cambridge, and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
You want fancy hats and style? Ascot has strict dress code requirements, but the requirements change depending on which part of the racecourse you plan to visit. In the Royal Enclosure, men must wear a waistcoat, a black or grey top hat and black shoes. Women must wear dresses or skirts of modest length (top of knee or longer), hats should be worn but fascinators are not allowed in this area. Jumpsuits are allowed this year for the first time but they must be ankle-length. (NOTE: Due to the hot temperatures, Ascot did not enforce its jacket rules today for the first time in its history and allowed visitors to remove their jackets to cool off. Here's a story about the relaxation of the dress code today: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-berkshire-40343086). The dress code requirements are different for other enclosures at the track. I recommend checking out the Royal Ascot Style Guide at https://www.ascot.co.uk/royal-ascot/style-guide to learn more about what makes Royal Ascot such a spectacle.
You want great horse racing? The five days of the Royal Ascot meeting feature 20 Group races, including nine Group 1 races. Viewers will find a few American horses have made their way to Ascot, including Lady Aurelia who won the Kind’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday. DeclarationofPeace, who was bred in Kentucky and sold for $2.6 million at Keeneland in 2015, failed to hit the board in the Windsor Castle Stakes. Kentucky Derby viewers may also remember Thunder Snow who pulled up early when the wet Churchill Downs track wasn’t to his liking. He finished third on Tuesday in St. James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot.
You can read more about the races, the style, the hats and more at https://www.ascot.co.uk/. You can check out the racing each day on NBC Sports.